“Sports in media is very healthy”

Interview with Javier Tola, Director of Master in Communication and Sports Journalism in la Escuela Universitaria Real Madrid - Universidad Europea.

Javier Tola, Director of the Master in Communication and Sports Journalism, and a communication professional specialized in sports, told us about the key aspects of the course in Communication and Sports Journalism (English taught), one of the top 5 masters in Communication In Spain as listed in the top 250 Masters by “El Mundo” newspaper.

What are your objectives as a teacher?

My objective is to share my 25 years of experience as a journalist in sports TV, radio, agencies and professional associations. What I try overall is to teach my students the techniques necessary to understand the relationship between sports and the media. Both are complementary, they need each other. For me, teaching is a fascinating process due to the high demand that involves being up to date or organizes the activities to carry on, but overall, because of what you get from the students and other teachers. It is a fascinating bi-directional relationship.

What is it that you like the most about sports journalism?

When it comes to broadcasting, year over year sports is on top, in both TV and online. Social networks have a strong influence when it comes to sports conversations and they are starting to have a strong impact in the market of sports rights acquisition: we cannot forget that the newspaper with the biggest audience in Spain is a sports one. Sports in media is very healthy.

How is your experience teaching at school so far?

After 8 years, it is now part of my daily routine. Universidad Europea is making a great effort to offer practical educational programmes, and as an MBA teacher in Sports Management and as the Director of the Master in Communication and Sports Journalism I work hard on providing my support to this programme, to make them a great experience that changes the professional point of view of the students. In this sense, having Real Madrid involved is a differentiating factor over other educational programs.

What key learnings do you provide the students?

Basically, we give them an overview of the current audiovisual market for the students to understand how the media market works when it comes to broadcasting and informing about sports events.

What do you think are the key differentiating elements of the Master in Communication and Sports Journalism of the school when compared to others?

The programme is very complete, the most theoretical part covering writing, camera, photography, television, digital and radio workshops is combined with various practical examples where the students must develop real-life examples that they are likely to face during the development of their careers.

We combine media coverage from Real Madrid events (basketball and football teams) with other sports and presentations, events… Having in our campus our own TV studio, a virtual one, editing, and postproduction rooms, and radio stations, helps us provide a 360-degree education to our students with a very solid practical base. Finally, it is important to mention that a high percentage of our professors are professionals of the sports media and have a lot of years of experience behind them, and this is something that is very valuable to the students.

Javier Tola, Director of Master in Communication and Sports Journalism and Managing Director at Simply Sports S.L. With over 20 years of experience in sports management, my career was developed in media (TV and radio), international radio and tv organizations and sports marketing agencies. I currently work on the distribution of sport events rights, where I’ve been part of the negotiating process of various top-level events in various sports. Furthermore, I manage audiovisual productions and online marketing campaigns for sports federations and event organizers. All of this at the same time that I teach in various national and international universities. I always try to learn more.